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Palestinian affairs.

Abbas to Take Charge of Kaddoumi's Duties in PLO Political Department

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will take over the duties of veteran Fatah official Farouk al-Kaddoumi in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a PLO Executive Committee member said, the Beirut daily AN NAHAR reported. Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority (PA), the secular Fatah, and the PLO Executive Committee, will be entrusted with Kaddoumi's duties as head of the PLO political department, PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalan was quoted as saying. Majdalan said the PLO Executive Committee convened in Ramallah late Thursday and decided that Abbas would directly oversee the PLO department.

The meeting also agreed on the distribution of the committee duties among its members, following the election of six new members last month to replace the deceased PLO Executive Committee members. Kaddoumi was not given any new tasks, according to the report. Majdalan added that the meeting decided to create new departments in the PLO. He said it was agreed that the committee would confer on Sunday or Monday to devise a plan that aims to develop the PLO, pass its annual budget, and launch a new committee headed by PLO Executive Committee Secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo. The report did not elaborate on the new committee.

The decision to strip Kaddoumi of his duties in the PLO, and earlier in Fatah, follows a bitter row between Abbas and the veteran Fatah official. Kaddoumi, who has always had a rocky relationship with Abbas, accused the president in July of plotting with Israeli and US intelligence to assassinate iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Arafat died in a Paris hospital in 2004. Fatah and the PLO lambasted Kaddoumi's claims at the time and denied his allegations. Kaddoumi, who resides in Tunisia, will remain a member of the PLO Executive Committee without attending its meetings in the West Bank.
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Title Annotation:Today's News Highlights
Publication:The Weekly Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Sep 12, 2009
Words:308
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